The first time I went to marriage counselling I was terrified. I had been unhappily married on and off since the day of our marriage, and I had spent eighteen years trying to fix it and to make myself stay. Although my ex is a good man and I am delighted that we had our three boys, the marriage itself had exhausted me and I was 'all cried out', I couldn't go on any more, the eighteen years had cost me very dearly.
So I was terrified that somehow the marriage counsellor would manage some guilt trip that would cause me to stay in a broken relationship. The first thing she said to us was that there were two good outcomes - a good marriage or an amicable separation, and that not every relationship can end in a good marriage but that an amicable separation should always be possible. I was so thankful. I could wholeheartedly say 'yes' to a good marriage or an amicable separation. We met five times and it soon became clear that separating was the only option, painful as that was.
I think the same result was inevitable in the Anglican Communion. For some time GAFCON have been very unhappy with other parts of the Anglican Communion, and it has been like watching a couple row. They have put out a statement a couple of days ago that includes this section:
For the sake of Christ and of His Gospel we can no longer maintain the illusion of normalcy and so we join with other Primates from the Global South in declaring that we will not be present at the next Primates’ meeting to be held in Ireland. And while we acknowledge that the efforts to heal our brokenness through the introduction of an Anglican Covenant were well intentioned we have come to the conclusion the current text is fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate.It sounds like they are packing their bags and moving out. ++Rowan has been desperate to keen the two sides together, but sometimes this is impossible, and it doesn't represent a failure on his part, the difference between the worldviews of the two sides is massive and growing. I wrote about this in an article on the Heathen Hub:
More recently, a new massive world-view shift has occurred, with the advent of the communications revolution, people have become aware of other cultures and realised that there isn’t a single story – there is no overarching ‘metanarrative’. This is world-view is known as ‘post-modernism’. It has caused a distrust of those who claim to know the Truth, which in turn has given birth to relativism, and as a backlash to that there has been a rise in religious fundamentalism. I see the Anglican Communion spread-eagled across huge tectonic plates, which are separating, making schism in the church once again sadly inevitable. Those in the Global South are committed to a more "modern"** worldview and anxious about the way that the church is moving in places like the USA, Canada and even England.
So let us work towards an amicable separation, let us bless each other and ask for God's joy and peace for each other, and let us try to put the pain of the past behind us as we look forwards to a new future.
**By "Modern" I mean the post-enlightenment view where there was supposed to be a right or wrong answer to everything.